The Friday the 13th franchise has never managed to achieve the same level of moderate respectability as its slasher contemporaries, often perceived as throwaway fun rather than something to be taken seriously. In keeping with this, Jason X, the saga’s tenth installment, has now been voted the greatest guilty pleasure horror movie by users of Reddit page r/horror.
When a film series goes on for long enough, the writers can often have difficulty coming up with new directions in which to take it, and a frequent idea is to transpose the core concept into outer space, such as with Leprechaun 4: In Space, Hellraiser: Bloodlines and Dracula 3000. Jason X follows the trend, beginning with the Camp Crystal Lake Killer being cryogenically frozen and awoken 400 years in the future on a starship populated by soldiers, scientists and students, the latter because where would a Friday the 13th movie be without an assortment of pretty young things to get killed one by one after having have ill-advised sex?
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It ticks all the boxes as a guilty pleasure, being implausibly plotted and questionably acted, and has little in the way of characterization or effort to take the story anywhere different beyond the setting. Featuring death by such methods as decapitation, impalement, electrocution, and a particularly memorable scene of a face being frozen in liquid nitrogen and smashed to pieces on a worktop, it revels in being exactly what it is, a sci-fi slasher movie that refuses to apologize for itself, and is all the more fun as a result. Not to mention, Jason gets transformed into a nanite-upgraded cyborg.
Indeed, Jason X is utter trash with few genuinely redeeming qualities. However, it’s exactly this that allowed it to top a poll on a page subscribed to by well over two million people, and unlike some of the other choices that stretch the definition of ‘guilty,’ it more than earns its place in the highest spot.